March 3, 2005
CAMP MARCHES ON: U.S. Soccer's own version of March Madness hits day four today as Bruce Arena's men continue preparations for the quartet of matches to be played by month's end. So far, only Eddie Pope (inflammation) and Frankie Hejduk (ankle) have missed time, with the rest of the 22-man contingent going through once-a-day sessions. The USA's first test is less than a week away, a friendly against Colombia on March 9 in Fullerton, Calif. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. PT at Titan Stadium, and fans can follow the match live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
CENTER CIRCLE SPOTLIGHT ON ZAVAGNIN: U.S. midfielder Kerry Zavagnin was certainly a late bloomer. After a rough beginning to his professional career in which he went from the MetroStars roster to a minor league team to nearly quitting the game altogether, his rededication to the sport brought him to the pinnacle of any player's career: a place with the U.S. national team. Getting his first international start just shy of his 30th birthday last year, Zavagnin has demonstrated that perseverance and solid play is still the means to appear on Bruce Arena's radar, no matter what your age. As the team prepares for the World Cup qualifiers later this month, ussoccer.com sat down with Kerry to discuss the team's preparations, his time in England, and his reflections on the path his career has taken in this Center Circle Spotlight.
ALL_ACCESS - FIT TO BE RUN: All_Access, the exclusive behind-the-scenes video of U.S. Soccer, will track the team's progress throughout this exciting month of action. In the first installments, get a glimpse into the U.S. team's opening phases of specialized high-altitude training plans in advance of the World Cup qualifier in Mexico City, and watch clips of Kerry Zavagnin's speaking with ussoccer.com. Watch the video on the competitions page.
U.S. TO FACE THREE 'C'S AS 2005 GOLD CUP GROUPS SET: The United States Men’s National Team has been drawn against Costa Rica, Canada and Cuba in the first round of the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The final groups and match schedule for the eighth Gold Cup, which will be held across seven cities from July 6-24, were announced Wednesday. The U.S. will open Group B play against Cuba on Thursday, July 7, at 7:30 p.m. PT at Qwest Field in Seattle, before meeting Canada two days later on Saturday, July 9 at the same venue, the match slated for a 1:30 p.m. PT kickoff. The U.S. will travel across the country for their final group match against Costa Rica on Tuesday, July 12, at 7 p.m. ET at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. For the complete story and schedule, click here.
USA V. MEXICO EN VIVO: For the first time in U.S. Soccer history, an away qualifier in Mexico will be broadcast live on English language television. ESPN2 will televise the March 27 match from the Estadio Azteca at 1 p.m. ET. With both qualifying matches in March being broadcast live on ESPN2 (including the USA-Guatemala match on March 30 from Birmingham, Ala.), the USA will have seen all 10 of their 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches aired live in the United States across the past 10 months. The match can also be seen live on Telemundo, and fans can follow the action on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
EXPECTING: Three players on the current squad are poised to build rosters of their own. Ritchie and Meredith Kotschau are expecting their first child March 10, while Pablo and Kelly Mastroeni are hoping for more than just a victory against Guatemala on March 30. To kickoff off the MLS campaign, Brian and Kersten Mullan will welcome their first child on April 14.
COMING UP: Later this week, look for a complete roster for the USA's first opponent in March Madness, and an exclusive all_access jam session with national team's musically inclined.